THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — A Thief River Falls, Minn., man has been found guilty of killing a woman and burning her body in the spring.
Devon Pulczinski, 24, was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, second-degree murder and first-degree arson.
Alexandra Jo Ellingson, 23, was found dead in a charred Thief River Falls apartment on March 27, 2019, with her hands and feet bound, fabric covering her head, and a power cord wrapped around her neck. Investigators believe the fire that burned the apartment was started with an accelerant poured over Ellingson's body.
The Ramsey County Minn. Medical Examiner determined that the cause of Ellingson's death was homicide by asphyxiation, according to court documents.
One of Pulczinski's friends told police that Pulczinski was scheduled to leave soon to go to drug treatment, but that he had been "talking crazy," "smoking a lot and just not acting right," according to documents. Pulczinski was arrested after another friend told police he had asked for a ride and was desperately looking for a ride to the Twin Cities. Pulczinski reportedly told police "it was all me."
During Pulczinski's trial last week, his attorney alleged that Pulczinski was trying to cover for his friends, who were the subjects of an ongoing drug investigation. Prosecutors argued that Pulczinski was angry people were stealing drugs from him, including Ellingson.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 16. He could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.